Month: April 2013

My 10 Guidelines to Staying Sane as a (Published) Writer

1. Even if you take a break from writing, don’t actually stop writing. Always try to keep something creative boiling on the back burner of your mind. Feeling consistently productive is usually the greatest source of a writer’s motivation.

2. If you insist on reading reviews and you feel the need to punch the computer screen with your fist, don’t. And don’t ever respond in any form or fashion. Be careful what you say about reviews in any form or fashion, even to your friends in private. Saying bad things about other people’s opinions (because they really are just opinions)¬†rarely comes off making you look good in the long run.

3. Don’t ever assume you are worth less than another writer, no matter how on the bottom-of-the-publishing-barrel you feel.

4. Even if the publishing world crumbles around you (or it threatens to crumble your world) remember nobody can ever take away the books you have written and how they have changed you.

5. Don’t call your friends liars by not believing what they say to you about your writing, good or bad. However, rely on your intuition for choosing what to change from criticism. If someone tells you exactly how to fix something (unless it’s grammar), it’s usually wrong for your book. Take feedback. Figure out the fixes yourself.

6. Making time for reading is as important as making time for writing. Period.

7. Don’t ever judge a method of publication, including your own.

8. If you feel like an outcast in the publishing world, it probably means you’re incredibly unique. Live it up. Nobody really wants to be a lemming.

9. If you’re trying to make a living from your books, remember that for most of us it’s slow-going. Always be writing another book (see above about back burners), and don’t forget to, you know, live.¬†

10. “Breaking out/making it big” on a first book, or fifth book, or tenth book, isn’t always the best way to go. A solid, quality backlist that sells is a stronger foundation and will make you even bigger in the long run. So. Keep. Writing.

Posted by Michelle D. Argyle in All Things Publishing, 15 comments